See also: shalë

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English schale (shell, husk; scale), from Old English sċealu (shell, husk, pod), from Proto-Germanic *skalō (compare West Frisian skaal (dish), Dutch schaal (shell), schalie (shale), German Schale (husk, pod)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelH- (to split, cut) (compare Lithuanian skalà (splinter), Old Church Slavonic скала (skala, rock, stone), Polish skała (rock), Albanian halë (fish bone, splinter), Sanskrit कल (kalá, small part)), from *(s)kel- (to split, cleave) (compare Hittite [script needed] (iškalla, to tear apart, slit open), Lithuanian skélti (to split), Ancient Greek σκάλλω (skállō, to hoe, harrow)). Doublet of scale. See also shell.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ʃeɪl/
  • Rhymes: -eɪl
    • (file)

Noun edit

Shale fragments of Marcellus Shale in talus

shale (countable and uncountable, plural shales)

  1. A shell or husk; a cod or pod.
  2. (geology) A fine-grained sedimentary rock of a thin, laminated, and often friable, structure.
    • 2007 March 23, Patricia Leigh Brown, “The Window Box Gets Some Tough Competition”, in New York Times[1]:
      As on all large green roofs, the soil is not dirt exactly but a gravel-like growing medium of granulated pumice, shales, clays and other minerals.

Usage notes edit

Before the mid-19th century, the terms shale, slate and schist were not sharply distinguished. Shales that are subject to heat and pressure alter into slate, then schist and finally to gneiss.

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Verb edit

shale (third-person singular simple present shales, present participle shaling, simple past and past participle shaled)

  1. To take off the shell or coat of.

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Noun edit


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